Process Dashboard 2.1

Process Dashboard Version 2.1 has been released, containing many significant new features.

  • The Process Dashboard’s internal web server has been enhanced to support Java servlets and JSPs. This makes it possible to develop custom reports using standard Java technologies, and run them against the project data in the Team Dashboard.
  • Significant new features have been added for Common Team Workflows:
    • In the WBS Editor, different icons are now used to visually distinguish tasks that were created by the application of a workflow. This makes it possible to track the process origin of a particular task in the plan.
    • In the Team Dashboard, a new “Workflow Process Analysis” report is provided on the script menu. This report shows the time spent in each step of the workflow, along with high-level metrics such as cost of quality and historical productivity rates.
    • When defining a workflow, teams can now add a special “Personal PROBE Planning” element. This element enables the assigned individual to use the Size Estimating Template and PROBE Wizard to generate size and time estimates for their work. It also provides a personal Project Plan Summary for the component, as well as a “To Date” report showing aggregate metrics for other components that the individual has produced using this workflow.
    • The Common Team Workflows window will now allow teams to prepopulate workflows with labels and notes. To do this, teams can click a button in the top-right corner of the workflows table to select the optional workflow columns they wish to edit.
    • The embedded database in the Team Dashboard now includes information about the workflows that were used to generate various tasks in a project plan.
  • A new Relaunch Wizard is provided to help teams prepare for team project relaunch meetings. This Relaunch Wizard:
    • Creates a new Team Project to hold the plan for the new iteration, and invites team members to join this new project iteration.
    • Copies the workflows, milestones, and team member schedules from the old plan to the new plan.
    • Copies incomplete components and tasks from the old plan to the new plan, and adjusts the planned times of in-progress tasks to account for work that has already been performed.
    • Marks the old project as closed, indicating that no additional work will be performed there. The next Sync WBS operation will help team members to close the remaining tasks on the old project.
  • Milestones receive significantly improved support within earned value schedules:
    • A new Milestones chart is available for earned value schedules in both the team and personal dashboard. This chart displays a horizontal bar for each milestone, comparing projected progress to the milestone commit dates. When the plan is not projected to satisfy a given milestone date, you can click on the corresponding bar and view a Gantt chart to determine which tasks are responsible for the slip.
    • The Task & Schedule window, EV report, and weekly report display a new Milestone column (rather than folding milestone data into the Labels column).
    • When a task is projected to miss a milestone commit date, the new Milestone column will visually flag an error and provide a tooltip with more information.
    • In Flat View, an individual can check a box to highlight all of the tasks associated with a particular milestone. When they do this, a dashed line is drawn over the list of tasks to illustrate the commit date when tasks must be completed. These features help the individual as they rearrange tasks to meet the deadline.
  • The enhanced charts are now available for all teams to use free of charge.
  • When filtering a report in the Team Dashboard, two new tokens are automatically available. “Completed_Tasks” filters the report to display the tasks that have been marked complete, and “Completed_Components” filters the report to show data from team project components that are 100% complete.
  • The active task selector has been redesigned to make better use of available space, and to better support complex projects with deep work breakdown structures. The main window now displays as much of the active task name as possible, and the portions that do not fit are displayed in an overflow menu.
  • It is now possible to move time log entries to a different task by dragging and dropping rows in the time log editor.
  • The Task & Schedule dialog now provides new options for working with multiple baselines:
    • You can now save multiple baselines for an EV schedule, providing a name and optional comment for each one.
    • You can view the list of baselines that have been saved for a schedule, edit their details, and delete them if necessary.
    • You can review the saved baselines for a schedule and select the one that should be “active” for the purposes of charts, reports, and calculations.
  • When individuals join a team project, they will experience a new streamlined joining process:
    • Instead of being presented with page after page of questions, they will see a single form that collects all the necessary information.
    • The new form provides reasonable default values whenever possible. Fields that need attention are visually highlighted so they stand out from the fields that already have a workable default value.
    • As they click on various fields, context-sensitive help is displayed to explain the data that is needed.
  • New performance tunings were added to improve the startup and shutdown time of large team and personal dashboards.
  • The “Find Task” functionality (available in the personal dashboard by typing Ctrl-F) has been improved for better usability. Completed tasks are indicated with a strikethrough, and past projects can be collapsed so they do not participate in the search operation.
  • A new option in the Team Member List makes it easy to move the start date of the entire team at once. This option is provided in the “Team Schedule Settings” window that appears when you click the date customization hyperlink.
  • The WBS Editor has traditionally displayed values with only one digit of precision after the decimal point. When numbers in a plan were smaller than 0.1, unusual rounding errors would sometimes occur. These problems have been corrected.
  • Additional keyboard shortcuts are now available for many actions in the WBS Editor.
  • A new user preference enables the main window’s title bar to display timing information for the currently active task.
  • When an individual is participating in more than one team project simultaneously, they can create an EV Rollup in their personal dashboard to display a consolidated plan for their work. Now, the Task & Schedule window for that EV Rollup provides special support for balancing available task hours across the various projects. Clicking on the PT (planned time) column for a schedule row opens an interactive dialog for visually reallocating time and managing the total amount of time that has been committed across all of the projects.
  • If an individual leaves the timer running for several hours, the dashboard will now display a warning message asking if they did this intentionally. This can help individuals catch their mistake if they forget to stop the timer (for example, if they leave it running overnight).
  • The Task & Schedule dialog now has an “Expand All” option on the View menu.
  • Fixes are included for a number of bugs.

Upgrade Considerations

Teams are encouraged to upgrade together.

Teams using one of the built-in metrics collection frameworks (e.g. TSP(SM) or PDSSD) will enjoy the new functionality simply by upgrading. Teams that have defined their own custom metrics collection framework will need to refresh the definition of that framework to receive many of the benefits described above.